27 Sept 2022 – Laurent Niclot Demo

 In Online Demos


Tuesday 27 September, saw our latest IRD with Laurent Niclot from Wellington Colorado, USA.

Following our usual welcome to the evening Laurent showed some examples of the miniature hollow form that he specialises in turning, small decorative vases, a tiny teapot with an oversized teardrop attached and several multi-stacked hollow forms with various decoration.

He went on to tell us how his obsession started from making his own tools from Allen Keys and onto creating his own miniature hollowing range. An Elm blank mounted between centres was turned round with a roughing gouge and a tenon created on each end with a Bedan, popularized by the acclaimed turner, Jean-François Escoulen.  The Bedan is a traditional spindle-turning tool that cuts convex shapes quickly and is capable of leaving a surface so smooth it needs only minimal sanding, similar use to the skew.

With the round blank now in the chuck a preliminary shape was created before a pilot hole was drilled into the top opening, at this stage we saw a graphic of the stages of hollowing to achieve best, and safest, practice. The lower part of the piece was refined with a spindle gouge. Laurent has developed mini hollowing tools, one straight and a curved one for under-cutting the inside similar to the much larger ones that most of us have. We saw several methods of trying to ascertain the wall thickness of a hollow form if you have very little access through a small hole, Laurent’s answer is to blow over the top like an ocarina (or beer bottle for some of our members), but without the holes in it; This gives an indication of the internal dimensions by listening to the pitch of the note created, the lower the pitch the bigger the space inside.

Happy with the result the final shape to the bottom was finished with a spindle gouge and the piece was cut off with a pull saw. Laurent decided that he would take the finished form to the bandsaw to cut in half and show us the result of his hollowing and explained he would decorate the outside later and make a fridge magnate so that it could still be displayed.

We had a guide around sharpening both the Bedan and hollowing tools and a few questions on various pieces that had been shown during the evening. Certainly some talking points with Miniature hollowing and tiny teapots, something for us all to try and make good use of the small pieces of timber we all have in out workshops.

Thanks Zak for the write up and for more pictures of the demo, please look in the Gallery HERE.

And lastly,

What’s up next?

11 Oct 2022 – Hands on Night at the Village Hall.

18 Oct 2022 – Online Workshop Night.

25 Oct 2022 – Online Demo by Colwin Way.

Watch this space for when we open up the booking system for the next Training Day on Sat 26 Nov 2022.  First come, first served as expecting the places to be snapped up.

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Showing 3 comments
  • Paul Tunmore

    A very interesting demo but not sure my big hands are suited to such small fiddly pieces. Interesting history to Laurent’s interest in small hollowing and his association with Trent Bosch at the other end of the hollowing scale. As we had Trent doing an IRD last month was interesting and even tiny hollowing projects use Trent’s 6 stage technique. Another good night for the club

  • Chris Fisher

    Well done for leaving a comment Paul.

  • David Crawford

    I enjoyed this demo. Nice to see something that the majority of members could have a go at. No specialist tools as such and it was clear how to make the tools. No need for a big lathe either. A different type of demo, some may think a bit simple, but a change from the more intricate turnings of some other demonstrators.
    I’ll have a go at this.

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